How the top 1% actually makes progress (aka the Seinfeld Solution)

Productivity sucks.

For one, it’s hard. I mean, let’s face it – every single time I sit down to “get something done”, it almost never happens. At first, I thought it was just me. I thought that maybe there was some malfunction in my brain that made it physically impossible for me to focus on important tasks when the sweet, sweet Facebook newsfeed is only a click away. It’s sad, actually.

The F key on my Macbook is starting to fade out.

What’s even sadder is that oftentimes I don’t even WANT to be on Facebook (or insert your poison of choice). I just feel drawn to the distraction like a moth drawn to light. Don’t even get me started on Netflix. I’ve literally watched over 5 years of Weeds this week alone.

photo credit: Flickr/dm74

photo credit: Flickr/dm74

What am I doing with my life?

That’s why I always laugh when I see more of these “productivity” apps come out every month. Who needs another app? I don’t need another piece of digital pocket change jangling around in my already crowded brain? How is another set of clicks, swipes and scrolls actually going to help me get anything else done? I already have enough to do.

Sometimes I think I’m going nuts with all the things I have to think about at the same time.

So, in a moment of desperation a few months ago, I started asking you (tribe members) if you were having trouble getting things done in your life too. Mostly, I just wanted to make sure completely I wasn’t batshit crazy. Here’s what some of you had to say (don’t feel like screenshotting the emails and blurring the names right now so I’m just copy/pasting – work with me):

“Sometimes, I have so many things swirling around in my head that I just get confused and as a reflex, I do nothing.”

“I spend so much time thinking about how to get things done that I don’t actually get anything done. It’s like spending hours drawing up a map, then never using it.”

“I’m always trying to make progress in work/life, but I constantly find myself stopping and starting…so I never really get any traction.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

You have no idea how gratifying it was to hear this stuff. I mean, honestly.

Now I know it’s not just me. You’re batshit crazy too! I can relate to all three of these, especially the last one.

I often find myself starting a new project, idea or pursuit then somehow, someway….letting it fade into the mist. Until eventually, it’s no longer part of my life. I treat it like a dead child and mourn for it…but rarely speak of it. Countless times I have tried to get something done and for whatever reason…just couldn’t. I couldn’t really put my finger on it…but it seemed like more than pure lack of willpower was at play here.

Not being able to follow through on the things we want to do sucks.

It sucks if you want to launch a successful startup. In fact, it sucks if you just want to improve your life in any way at all.

So, I took a hard look at my habits and my interactions with the people and things that I deemed important to me.

I discovered something very interesting. Something that has been a HUGE factor in me starting 3 profitable businesses in the last 12 months and ejecting myself out of 9-to-5 misery.

Here’s what I’ve been doing. Let me know what you think.

Maybe it’s not about willpower?

You can’t “will” yourself to be more productive with your time.

You’re not a lemon. You can’t just squeeze more juice out. It doesn’t work like that, young padawan.

To be honest, I don’t even think I have what most people would call “willpower”. If you’re talking about mental fortitude, well I probably use 60% of my energy just getting out of bed in the morning. Maybe 70% on days where I have something un-fun to do. Yes, I made that word up.

If I had to use willpower to be productive, I’d never get anything done.

I legitimately don’t have the wherewithal to combat the temptations of all the fun things I’d rather do (instead of bootstrapping these businesses) on a daily basis. I like having fun, training and “chilling” too much.

But therein lies the problem. On the one hand, I don’t want to do anything but things that excite and inspire me. On the other hand, in order to EVENTUALLY have the ability to only do what I want, I have to make some serious moves now. Moves that require me to be extremely productive.

So I had to find a way.

I’d always thought that the reason elite performers in the top 1% of their disciplines were able to do so much more than me was because they had some sort of x-factor that allowed them to work harder, longer and better than me. Or, I made up all these limiting self-beliefs that they had unfair advantages that I’d never have (“of course he’s more productive than me…he has a personal chef to cook for him while he’s working”). All that is BS, naturally.

Then it occurred to me – maybe it’s not willpower at work here. Maybe these people aren’t “forcing” themselves to get stronger, faster, smarter or more successful.

Maybe it goes much deeper.

Maybe the reason that the world’s most productive people ARE so productive is because they have their entire life designed to get better at their work.

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Note: Make sure you read to the end of this article, where there’s a special gift waiting for you 🙂

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The Seinfeld Solution

In 1998, Jerry Seinfeld made $267 million dollars from the 9th and final season of his hit show Seinfeld. Yes, thats a quarter billiondollars. No, that’s not a typo. NBC begged him to do a 10th season to the tune of $5M per episode for 22 episodes (WTF?!). He declined. Needless to say, it was a great decade for him. But the 2000’s have been quite good to him as well – deals from syndication of his now classic show bring in a steady paycheck of about $85 million per year. Not bad, Jerry. Not bad at all.

ku-xlarge

photo credit: Lifehacker

But let’s take it back. Back, before he was a borderline billionaire comedian. Back before he was even a household name.

How does one amass the talent, skill and productivity to write joke after joke, show after show, year after year at such a high level?

In an interview with Lifehacker, comedian Brad Isaac shares the story of a chance encounter he had with Seinfeld backstage. He asked Jerry if he had any “tips for a young comic”.

Here’s how Brad describes the conversation:

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”

 

Take note here. You’ll notice Jerry didn’t mention anything about having good jokes. He didn’t even mention how long the activity had to last. The task is very simple: write something every day, put an X on the calendar and don’t break the chain.

Using your brain’s programming against itself

It’s almost simple enough to be counterintuitive – but let’s think about what’s happening here. There are a few very sophisticated processes going on. Think about how you could use this model with the skill or process you’re trying to become more productive with:

  • The act of doing something every day programs you to make it a default behavior. Most of us don’t have to force ourselves to brush our teeth in the morning. There’s no mental strain or cognitive dissonance with brushing your teeth. You just do it…because that’s who you are. You are a person who likes clean teeth and fresh breath. Seinfeld managed to integrate writing jokes into his daily routine day after day. Over time, he associated his identity with the writing and from there, it’s much easier to follow through.
  • Default behaviors, repeated day in and day out become habits. Habitual pursuits almost ALWAYS improve because of sheer frequency. In Jerry’s case, writing every day ensures that he’s bound to stumble on some funny material. 365 days of straight writing guarantees some nuggets of wisdom just by the sheer volume of material he’ll have created over time.

In effect, you’re using your own human tendency for habit creation to work AGAINST your natural tendency to procrastinate, stall and be otherwise unproductive. Rather than setting nebulous goals and hoping that you have the power to push through, you are actively installing new software (aka habit) in your brain’s computer to ensure that the program (aka goal) gets run. With enough consistency over time, the new software WILL get installed. You literally will not have a choice but to complete the habit every day. From there, success is on cruise control.

The only thing you have to do is NOT break the chain.

How to use this (and how it’s worked for me)

I’ve had great success with hardwiring new habits into my daily rituals. The best part about creating a new habit is that after a while, you forget that it’s a “new” habit. It becomes so natural that you no longer even need to keep track. It’s just what you do. I’ve done this with a few different things that used to be a struggle for me to do consistently, and now I manage to do them every day without even a second thought:

  • Making my bed (was at a 67 day streak before I stopped tracking. My mom would be SHOCKED)
  • Meditating (was at a 70+ day streak before I didn’t need to track anymore)
  • Reading (40+ days and counting)
  • and 4 or 5 other habits

But here’s the catch…

Some days I was only able to throw the bed together.

Sometimes my meditation wasn’t good.

Often I only read a few pages.

But none of that matters because above all, I did it every single day. Consistently. And I haven’t stopped.

These may not seem like huge challenges, but imagine what it’s like to string together weeks and weeks of things you previously struggled with. Like compound interest, effort over time adds up to create something much bigger than the sum of its parts.

This is the secret sauce. This is how the top 1% of all performers are productive at a level that seems impossible to us earthlings.

Before Michael Phelps won the most gold medals in history, he was on a 10+ year hot streak of not missing a single planned day of training. Don’t be fooled, some of the days his training wasn’t good. But he still showed up. It’s that simple.

Don’t break the chain.

Let’s say you want to learn programming for your startup, but are completely overwhelmed by what you need to know. That’s fine, and it’s perfectly normal. Start with small bites. If you learn programming, rain or shine, hell or high water, for 365 days in a row without breaking the chain, you will make progress. Period. Even if you consider yourself way below average at the beginning. At just an hour per day, that’s almost 400 hours of consistent programming after a year. How good could you get at something with 400 hours?

Look at Karen, who taught herself to dance in one year using the Seinfeld Solution:

Check out more of her story here: Dance in a Year

Karen proves that even over a year’s time, you can make remarkable progress in things that at first seemed near impossible to tackle. If you put in the time in little bite-sized chunks without skipping a beat, you can accelerate to advanced levels quickly.

Your only task is….you guessed it….don’t break the chain.

It doesn’t matter what the field, pursuit or project is. Consistency over time is mastery. To track my progress with new habits I’m working on, I often use the habit-building app Lift as my digital calendar to track my “chain”. It’s one of the few worthwhile productivity/lifestyle apps out there.

What new habits are you planning to integrate on a daily basis to help you become more productive and advanced in your career and life?

Grab these strategies and start implementing!

Later,

Daniel

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PS – If you don’t feel like going to the store right now, and want to get started right away I made this 2015 Seinfeld Solution Calendar for you. It’s free 🙂
Get The 2015 Seinfeld Solution Calendar

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Daniel DiPiazza
@Rich20Something

Daniel is the founder and CEO of Rich20Something. A millennial business mastermind, he has successfully started three consecutive freelance businesses and scaled them to over $100K in revenue with zero startup capital. His work is regularly featured in Time Magazine, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fox News, and Yahoo! Business. His debut book, Rich20Something, publishes on May 2, 2017.

  • Rich20Something

    Looking back on that dance video…that’s really amazing. Should I start teaching myself to dance this year?

  • Daniel Pino

    Cool solution indeed Daniel. Seinfeld is a genius and that App you recommended looks very useful as well.

  • Merve

    Oh I should figured out myself that I’m not a lemon! It’s a wonderful post Daniel. I’m suffering from the same thing but I’m really pumped up to do things that I want every day to make it stick.

    And as you said the habit installing is very similar to downloading a program to a computer, after started to download it (making decision to do it) it needs to go through a process to actually download and if you interrupt it while downloading you’ll have to start from scratch.

    And that’s a huge problem for most of us because everyone wants to install lots of things into their brains at the same time and it just causes freezing up…

    One of the most challenging thing is here I think prioritizing, it seems everything I want to do is very important and I just can’t decide to which one is most important thing to do, do you have any tips about it?

  • Rich20Something

    Don’t know what happened here, but your comment got deleted! mrvcivelek said:
    “Oh I should figured out myself that I’m not a lemon! It’s a wonderful post Daniel. I’m suffering from the same thing but I’m really pumped up to do things that I want every day to make it stick. And as you said the habit installing is very similar to downloading a program to a computer, after started to download it (making decision to do it) it needs to go through a process to actually download and if you interrupt it while downloading you’ll have to start from scratch. And that’s a huge problem for most of us because everyone wants to install lots of things into their brains at the same time and it just causes freezing up… 
    One of the most challenging thing is here I think prioritizing, it seems everything I want to do is very important and I just can’t decide to which one is most important thing to do, do you have any tips about it?”

  • Liz Flores

    Great post! Ive heard of doing this as well and for me its keeping up with those habits on the weekends thats so hard. This weekend I did not travel or go anywhere. I had every intention of hauling myself up in my apartment and getting work done on my blog, paintings, and books ive been reading for like a month now….I became so overwhelmed I basically was tired before I began. -_- I think just like learning new languages is hard when you grow up, learning new habits, and unlearning habits is just as hard. I’m going to start this idea of repetition this week ….I’ll try not to break the chain!

    • Rich20Something

      Liz Flores Thanks for the great feedback, Liz.
      Tricky question: what do you think is harder – unlearning an old (bad) habit, or learning a new one?
      Also, remember – the goal is to keep the chain going at all costs. That means if you read for just 3 minutes one day (while not ideal), it counts. Gotta build the momentum.

      • Liz Flores

        Rich20Something Liz Flores Unlearning an old bad habit is harder because generally this old habit is what is preventing me or at least is an obstacle to creating a new better habit. And it has been ingrained in our system and sometimes even in society. What are your thoughts?

        • Alex Madinger

          Liz Flores Rich20Something Instead of seeing it as unlearning an old habit, see it as replacing it with a new one.
          I have a problem with waking up/sleeping in. Instead of focusing on not doing that, I’m trying to form the habit of going to bed earlier.
          What are some of the old habits you are trying to beat?

        • Rich20Something

          Alex Madinger Liz Flores I’d have to agree- I see uninstalling are really “replacing”…which is just like installing a new habit. The bedtime one is killing me. I haven’t been able to streak more than 4 days together yet with my 11:30 bedtime. I came to the same realization as you, Alex…it’s not getting up earlier. It’s going to bed earlier.

  • Alex Madinger

    Best post I’ve read so far!
    I have signed up with Lift, and was surprised by the 5 tasks I set up. Only 2 of them have to do with work, the other 3 have to do with lifestyle. I think the lifestyle changes will reflect on my work, however. Thanks for shedding light on the issue of motivation!
    -AM

    • Rich20Something

      Alex Madinger Glad you enjoyed – Alex. Lift is one of the few apps that’s actually changed my life. And the CEO/creator tonystubblebine is a great guy. He’s the one that showed me that “Dance in a Year” video.
      What habits are you working on installing?

  • apsati

    I have recently discovered your articles needless to say they are very inspiring. For a while I wanted to do blog about something but I couldn’t find an interest that I was sure I could keep on writing about. Thanks to you I have made a decision to write a blog about my culture. I want to write about the Karachay culture and language which is about to be forgotten. I will try not to break the chain and write something everyday or post an interview about old traditions everyweek.

  • Kevin Liu

    Daniel,

    Well-written as always.

    I keep an obsessive google calendar. But you know what’s the first thing I schedule every day? Sleep. 7.5 hours of blissful, regenerative sleep. Without that amount of sleep, I know the rest of the day is going to be a waste, so why bother why all the rest of that stuff I won’t do?

    Oh, and why Lift is great, I simply share my “bets” calendar with my wife and list the dollar amounts for failing in the events themselves. It’s a simple way to make the bets from within my existing google GTD workflow.

    Kevin

  • Ah that’s great! I couldn’t agree more.

    Jared and I have been doing the same with music, each writing, recording and posting a song each month:
    http://www.unlovableband.com

    We’re 7 months in and we’ve got a couple more guys doing it with us now.
    For the first time in my life I feel like I’m actually measurably improving.

  • Oliver Armstrong

    This just reminded me that I broke all my chains working overseas last year and just never restarted any of them 🙁 
    Time to get back on it! 
    To add my 2 cents, whatever it is you want to do, start today. I do this all the time where I say “oh I need to wait until X date before I start Y activity/goal” this is total BS that we’re all guilty of from time to time.
     I agree Alex Madinger, lifestyle changes are the hardest for me too!

    • Rich20Something

      Oliver Armstrong Alex MadingerIt’s so hard psychologically to restart after you stop. Build that momentum and protect it at all costs. When I ran track in high school, our coach used to push us hard to run 7 days a week…even if some days were very low intensity. Her logic was that even taking 1 or 2 days off in a row makes the body feel like it’s taken a week off. And I’ve have to say, I agree. 

      What do you guys think? Curious what Yomi Alimi and Sergio Valentin think.

  • This post was right on time! I don’t know how many times a month I “beat myself up” for not accomplishing/doing what I need to.  It’s totally comforting to know there are others experiencing the same challenges (btw this is my first time commenting on a post! soooo should have started sooner!) I wrote this quote down a while ago but it never fully resonated until reading this article (not verbatim): “If you’re tired of starting over, stop quitting”. Time to do better!

  • KioshanaLaCount

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the post – I really needed to hear this today!  Its ironic – my middle name (LaToya) literally means “one who starts but does not finish” – don’t ask, I read that somewhere.  🙂  
    Anyway, clearly it is time for me to work past that – I’m all for ways to be more productive and do the whole “work smarter, not harder” thing – I’m already planning to implement this into my life in a couple of different ways!

    • Rich20Something

      KioshanaLaCount Don’t let someone else tell you what your name means. Create your own meaning.
      What are some ways you are going to begin implementing? Be specific.

  • hazelmaepan

    I’ve read about this “habit” technique (for lack of a better term) a long time ago! And I’ve been trying to implement it and keep failing again and again 🙁 
    I tried it with reviewing math and then learning Spanish but when peak season at work hit, I lost may day streaks and by offpeak season, I had lost my momentum. 
    I’m trying again with programming via Codeacademy (which measures your day streak too, btw, pretty convenient!) And have not been able to program for 2 days since peak season at work started 🙁 Hope I don’t lost track of this one again. 
    Thanks for this post, Daniel, now I also know I’m not the only hyperactive, scatter-brained “achiever-wanna-be” that I thought myself to be. I get overwhelmed by the number of things I keep thinking about accomplishing all the time, too. @_@ 
    Well, can’t give up now.

    • Rich20Something

      hazelmaepan Great observation, Hazel. I’ve also struggled to use this system before – then I had a breakthrough when I realized that instead of streamlining my life with the “chain” analogy, I was going completely overboard with the things I wanted to do. At one point I was trying to maintain streaks of language learning, programming, physical training, reading, meditation, making the bed and a few other things. It was way too hectic – I was setting myself up for failure. And I was setting myself up to internally criticize myself for “lack of followthrough”.

      What I realized is that for this to work, it has to be with ONE or MAYBE two activities. MAX. Notice in the Seinfeld example, he had ONE task: write jokes. Not that, plus 5 other things he was trying to get done. That singular focus made the chain system work because it polarizes the process. It basically becomes a “yes I did it” or “no I didn’t”, not “well I did one of my habits today, two of them yesterday, none the day before”.
      Pick one things and really commit to that. And pick something that’s likely to influence you in the most positive way for every other thing you’re working on.
      For me, I find that habit is meditation. If I can meditate daily and not break the streak, everything else is easier to maintain. Meditation has the highest leverage – so I focus on that.
      What are your high-leverage habits hazelmaepan, KioshanaLaCount and Oliver Armstrong?

      • Rich20Something

        hazelmaepan KioshanaLaCount Oliver Armstrong Also, really simple advice here – if it’s going to get done, it has to get done in the morning. Front-load your day so that the most important things get done first. Set yourself up to where it HAS to happen, whether you “feel like it” that day or not.

  • Hey Daniel,

    Just found you via Under30CEO. Killer post man.

    I love the Seinfeld technique. It’s how I’ve integrated a bunch of different habits into my life. Haven’t started the reading habit yet…thinking that may be my next one.

    I would say that in the beginning of any new habit, will power is necessary. It’s only natural to not feel like doing something, but then utilizing will power to do it anyway. Of course, once that habit is formed than you can use your will power on other things.

    A great example is working out. When I started working out, I never felt like going to the gym. I was tired from work, school, etc. But I went anyways. After about two months, I didn’t have to force myself to go anymore. It wasn’t even a conscious decision. I just went no matter what.

    Great stuff Daniel and I look forward to connecting with you more.

  • AutomotiveArchitecture

    Great article & it really does point out a lot of the very same problems I have with focusing on finishing something I start and continuing to do it after I have lost the motivation. I am going to try the lift app so that I can start creating some new habits that will benefit me in the long run.

    • Rich20Something

      AutomotiveArchitecture Excellent to know – can you give the group some examples of specific habits you’ll be attempting to integrate?

  • danstrayer1956

    Thank you.  I needed to read this!  I need to do my 5-minute free writing every morning, again.
    (I’m also reminded of the quote “80% of success is showing up”…I don’t know who said it).
    By the way, I’m a 50-something who just discovered your your blog via my Prismatic news feed.

  • danstrayer1956
  • EstherMartz

    Daniel, thank you very much! I was really angry with myself not doing anything this summer and being worried about what the hell was I doing with my life. I’m a graphic designer and most of what I do was learned by reading and practicing everyday at least 1 hour, as the post says. But it seems I forgot about that when I thought I “knew everything I had to”. After reading it and realizing it really works and that I got almost all my skills by that way, I’m going to put it back into my life right now. This has motivated me and my boyfriend to start learning and improving new things, just what we needed right now in this mental-shitty situation.
    Again, thank you 🙂

  • Tashasmith19

    This is a huge problem for me! I think that I’ll stay up late to get things done but in reality I get really lazy past 11 and waste hours doing “research” on YouTube or watching netflix and lose track of my precious time. And then I’m really tired the next day. What a waste! Te chain habit I was thinking f focusing on was going to be exercising, but if I could get this one nailed, I think I’d be in a better place for everything else in my life. New goal: spend no more than 10 min on my phone/laptop before bed.

  • Made to Succeed

    There is so much truth to what you are saying! Thanks for sharing. I plan to really implement this concerning several areas of my life. I’ll let you know how it goes

  • i do this and miss one day and fall off the wagon like a bum..i need to learn to either not skip that one day or learn that missing one day does not equal quitting altogether. i especially need to do it with meditation and make that a consistent habit

  • Rich20Something

    danstrayer1956 Glad to have helped, Dan (and great name). Happy to have people of all ages here!

  • Rich20Something

    danstrayer1956 Thanks for this, and again, welcome to the community!

  • Rich20Something

    EstherMartz Thanks for the reply (and the email 😉 Really happy to have sent some motivation your way. You’re a graphic designer? Have you read my Elance article. Could really help jumpstart ya! http://www.rich20something.com/hacking-elance-the-step-by-step-breakdown-to-making-23700-in-4-weeks/

  • Rich20Something

    @Made to Succeed Let us know for sure. What areas would you like to implement it in?

  • Rich20Something

    @kschol I understand completely. We are human. Think of it holistically. Could you give yourself a little flexibility and commit to making 6/7 days a week…or only missing 4-5 days max?

  • Rich20Something

    Awsome!

  • Joe

    So far the only thing I’ve been able to do every day was brush my teeth. And that wasn’t even intrinsic… I just didn’t want people to smell my breath. 
    I’m going to find some things, and start those things. Today.

  • Thanks for this post, it was really interesting to read. I started my business a few months ago but working from home I have found it difficult to stay on track, keep focussed, especially with sites such as facebook and netflix! I never seem to have enough time, and always feel like I am behind on my ideas. I’m definitely going to give this a go as I can see it working for myself as long as I start with something simple which I know I can achieve. Thanks!

  • Thanks man, I actually knew this principle but thank you for putting it into a different shadow. It’s a great perspective and frankly I didnt knew this Seinfeld principle. Now, I’m more motivated to applying it into everyday life. As Edison said: Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration

  • Mike

    Great post! Makes me realize that you can’t climb Everest in a day and that I just need to start out by taking the first step.

  • Mike

    Thanks for the post, it has changed my thinking on a lot of things.  It all goes back to the old saying that one can’t climb Everest in one day, that you must take a step first.

  • NK

    Totally feel this.  Understand it, believe it, know it.  I’m looking for inspiration for where to spend my time and energy though.  Thoughts?

  • Kenyana

    Hi Daniel,
    This is one of the most awesome and encouraging stuff to have seen over the net. Actually i found your profile as i was searching on how to create a good profile for a web developer at Elance and i have to accept i was really encouraged by how you started. Personally i have struggled to find a job since campus an year ago but i haven’t succeeded  to date. So i decided to try my to earn on online sites. Am grateful to have found this community and i believe i will learn and share a lot from my tribe members.
    Thanks

  • Aman Chand

    I’ve only just discovered this blog, and I must say as a 20 something with 3 startups under my belt, I have been finding it so hard to keep on track and some days are just horribly unproductive for me because of the overwhelming nature of running 3 companies. But I end up using what I just said as an excuse. Which in turn stalls the progress and growth of my companies. Not only was this post inspiring, but very practical. Must. Implement!

  • Dylan

    I will certainly try and implement this into my life. There are so many things I want to learn, but they can seem so daunting and overwhelming that its easy to procrastinate. Perhaps because I dont truly believe I will ever become proficient at it? But the idea of making a habit out of doing something every day, even if its a small contribution, makes things seem much more manageable. And what really made that resonate for me, was seeing Karen’s video, and seeing how hard work over the course of a year, can really pay off.

  • TJ

    Great post! I always try something out and I give up within a week as I feel that it wont be possible for me. But after reading this post, I have decided to try those things again one by one. I hope that I keep working on that and don’t quit again!

  • hazelmaepan

    Rich20Something hazelmaepan KioshanaLaCount Oliver Armstrong Exactly. 🙁 Another factor is I read or hear about some people actually being able to manage so many things at once. How can Einstein? How can Da Vinci? Like in a single day, their schedules are packed with tons of different stuff to do. Or they are experts in multiple specialties and I try to emulate the same thing. If these “geniuses” can do it, why can’t I? But yeah, it ends up backfiring. First of all, these are geniuses. Second, these are geniuses. Oh wait, there goes the negative self-esteem again…

  • Hi Daniel,
    Here another 50 plus guy. It has been long since I read all comments on a post, especially with a tail of comments I found here. I’m really happy to finally have found someone that writes not fluffy-blurry but someone who manages in a view lines to create a stir. This is beyond what I read from any ‘motivational’ speaker. Yes it is for sure true, like the bold guy says  that “the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose”, But without giving directions and ideas its just the sentence that remains. I’m really sorry for myself to have missed your 9/05 presentation next time I’m in!

  • iamskyemedia

    The advice is so simple it’s bound to work if I’d just go for it. Thanks for giving me the push I needed b/c the thought of being a better developer is a huge daunting task that I constantly talk myself out of b/c people are “better” than me, but I’m going to be the best developer I can be and not compare myself to others or feel any type of way about what others do. Thanks, again.

  • Derrick

    This method of compounded consistency is what Jeff Olson calls “The Slight Edge.” Check it out if you haven’t already.

  • Rich20Something

    @Joe Haha. ANy more luck finding other things to do yet?

  • Rich20Something

    Joey123 Netflix is my one true love.

  • Rich20Something

    @Chris Question: how many things do we “know” but always “forget” to do?

  • Rich20Something

    @Mike Yep. Gross analogy: “You have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.”

  • Rich20Something

    @NK What are the 3 highest priority things that you want to get done, but can never find the time for?

  • Rich20Something

    Aman Chand That’s awesome, man. Glad it helped. What habits would you like to integrate?

  • Rich20Something

    @Dylan  WOW- huge takeaway: “Perhaps because I dont truly believe I will ever become proficient at it?”
    Why do you think you hold that belief?

  • Rich20Something

    @TJ Awesome, man. What’s the first thing you want to tackle?

  • Rich20Something

    Jelmer Hey Jelmer! Thanks so much for joining the community. I’m really happy to have you 🙂

  • Rich20Something

    iamskyemedia No problem 🙂 What’s the first habit you wan  to tackle?

  • Rich20Something

    @Derrick Interesting. WIll check it out, thanks!

  • Rich20Something

    mornebooysen Hahaha. Wasting time, reads article about wasting time, stops wasting time. Effective!

  • Brenda

    Well, it looks like today is the first day of the rest of my life. Courtesy of Daniel and Tyler Durden.

  • @rjun

    A splendid article, amped me up to finally start on few things which I have been delaying for few months, just waiting for the right time. But now ,gonna get the calendar today and getting right on it !! Thanks for the strategy and the push 🙂

  • Sunnocean

    Very inspiring article.  This has motivated me to start working on my habits and not breaking my chain of things I am passionate about and things I want to implement.  Thanks so much for the article!

  • rinukuranga

    Great artical. This was definitely confirmation for me. I’ve started reading books and writing my reflections,thoughts & progress of my soon-to-be business EVERYDAY! It no longer feels like a chore. Time to add the next thing to my daily routine. Positive habits!

  • Rich20Something

    @Brenda Haha! Happy to have helped!

  • Rich20Something

    @rjun My pleasure!

  • Rich20Something

    Sunnocean Awesome! What’s are you working on now?

  • Rich20Something

    rinukuranga Sounds good. What’s the next habit?

  • Gigih

    Thanks Daniel,
    Inspiring read. I’m such a procrastinator I start something a forget about it a week later. Definitely going to try the Seinfield Solution even if I know on some days I won’t feel be putting in 100%. This is where I fall short if I don’t feel I can do something perfectly I miss a day and then that starts a snowball effect. Going to start back with my Chinese lessons and databases. 
    Gigi

  • rinukuranga

    Rich20Something I’m going to pick up learning Japanese again. I also want to improve my public speaking skills so I need to find something I can do daily for that.

  • owens346

    You know, I never thought that I would be up at almost 4 CDT thinking about what I’m thinking now. I am gonna love this site!

  • Rich20Something

    Gigih Chinese! Sweet! How long have you been trying to learn?

  • Rich20Something

    owens346 Haha! Glad to have you 🙂

  • owens346

    Rich20Something owens346 Thanks. I’m just turning 22, still living at home, and the job I have barely pays 200 a week. I want to break out and do more with my life. It’s more about being apart of something better than money. I want to live more!

  • VivekBH

    Brilliant. Anyone delving deep into self to find his own truth will know the true value of directed hard work and its unceasing repetition. Another thing he will know is the futility of all excuses. Both Habitual and circumstantial. 
    Love it! Don’t break the chain…

  • JennaHawkins

    Great article. I guess getting up at the same time every day is a habit I’m starting to establish as we speak!

  • Awesome article. I thought I was the only one who was batshit cray about not getting things done. The Seinfeld Solution is going to work wonders in my life. I just know it! Can’t wait to do more with my life! Yess!

  • Lucas2

    This article just made my hunger for success hungrier! Imagine a world where everyone lived by the seinfeld solution is some positive way or another. This just goes to show that with time spent right comes great results. Planning to purchase my one year calendar right after this comment. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Drew24

    Good article! It’s definitely advice worth implementing especially when you think about how much you could accomplish in just 1 hour per day for 1 year. I need to go and get myself a big calendar!

  • SiriusBass

    The Chain is an incredible exercise in concentration and mental conditioning. Thank you for sharing it! I already keep a daily “to-do” list and even after a few months, not everything seems to get done.  I’ll be putting this to work, literally as soon as I finish typing.

  • Good article. Nothing overly fancy, no bullshit, straight to the point and informative. Looking forward to reading more. I’ve downloaded Lift, it looks like it’s going to be a great tool. Thanks for the tip.

  • Burmei23

    Can’t wait to start using the chain. I’ve been trying to write every day but it’s easy to forget a day then completely fall off for a while when I don’t keep track. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • KaylynneH

    Great post!
    I often feel like my all of my passions are stuck on one of those “Under Construction” signs. People will ask me what i’m interested in and after I tell them about the things I’m passionate about and things I want to accomplish, they always say “That’s so great! Where can I see your projects?” and I always sheepishly say, “Well… I’m still just working on it…” Because I’m so all over the place all the time, nothing actually gets done and as a result, I’m 22 with very little to show for all the time I’ve spent thinking about and planning all my projects.

  • Duncan Lewis

    Really great post here!
    I’m definitely going to start using the chain, both for my startup and my personal life. I have known for a few years that the best way to get good at something is to make it a habit, but I have never thought of using the chain method. 
    Just about to download Lift, can’t wait!

  • geniusmonster2k

    make a habit as they are hard to break

  • CSJaney

    This is a great idea. I have Aspergers and am a creature of habit & routine, but I’m also a procrastinator – it makes my life pretty interesting. I need to get into the habit of writing every day. I’ve already got two books out, but the 3rd isn’t coming as fast as I like. I also need to market every day, no matter how repetitive I think it is because otherwise, people will forget about me and my books! I am going to sign up for Lift and see if that helps me. I also want to learn to build child themes for genesis so I need to spend time learning html & css every day! Looking forward to reading more on your site as I’ve just joined the newsletter! 🙂

  • Rachael Cook

    I have a huge issue with starting something, being really passionate about it for a few weeks & working on it all the time to turn around and totally stop. Sometimes, I never go back and finish and other times it takes me years to complete projects. My passion always seems short lived & I move on before I make any real progress. I wonder if I could make this method stick!

  • Jezi

    hi daniel;
     Thanks for your articles. It encouraged me to read more and more  everyday.

  • This sounds like my novel ideas. Many sound awesome, then I let them die quiet lazy deaths. But when I sat down every day and wrote, I finished two of the beasts. 
    Now, if I could get myself to do that again…. 😉

  • Julius

    You are a rare person…there are realy a few people today, who would share with others…and you are one of them…

  • This was a great article, I stumbled across your blog about a month ago. I’ve had a bunch of ideas for a long time, but never seemed to get around to making anything of them. After reading this though, and your watching your start-up videos, I decided to get to work. I’ve dedicated an hour a day to working on my first blog. http://www.backpaincombat.com, It’s about living with and managing back pain, and in two weeks, it’s gone from an idea, to a live site. So thanks for the motivation

  • Deborah Fillman

    This article was fantastic! I was JUST this week saying the same things you said in the first few paragraphs–that is SO ME (batshit crazy I guess, but at least not alone)! I am inspired. OK, let’s see…Already make the bed EVERY DAY, and you’re so right, it’s a habit so ingrained, I feel it *physically* if for some odd reason, I have to leave the house (extremely rare) without doing it, almost queasy. I thought that was OCD, now I realize it’s just breaking the chain–it’s not that I really care that the bed is a mess, it’s that my day doesn’t flow the same way. But I also see that I do other things habitually (eat breakfast) that are good, and have stuck for the same reason, and open the computer and get sucked into email (bad). SO, I’m going to try new habits: 1) working out (was doing this pretty well, but didn’t think of it as a chain, and broke it, gonna give it another try) 2) waking up at 6–I read recently that getting up earlier helps, I need to do that. 3) writing something every day, like Seinfeld. I love to write, there’s no excuse for not doing it more often, and I just need to DO IT, no matter what form it takes. Those are my three. I’m hoping the discipline will carry over into work. Thanks again for the tips and inspiration!

  • goska

    The more you do the more time you find to do it.

  • Rich20Something

    VivekBH Thanks, Vivek! What habits are you working on?

  • Rich20Something

    JennaHawkins Excellent. How’s that going so far?

  • Rich20Something

    N_Alcide10 Excellent- what’s you’re number 1 habit to install?

  • Rich20Something

    Lucas2 Excellent. Did you end up getting one?

  • Rich20Something

    @Selfridge Design Excellent. Please keep me updated on your progress 🙂

  • Rich20Something

    SiriusBass  To-do lists are just bottomless pits, in my experience. What’s the number 1 habit you’d like to install?

  • Rich20Something

    Dustin Paisley Lift is a great tool. I’ve been slacking on using it recently. Will get back into it.

  • Rich20Something

    KaylynneH Hmm – so if you had to prioritize, which habits would you like to work on first?

  • Rich20Something

    Duncan Lewis Cool – how’s the lift tracking going?

  • Rich20Something

    geniusmonster2k exactly

  • Rich20Something

    CSJaney Thanks for joining the community, and welcome. If you already have 2 books out, I can’t say you’re the worst procrastinator I’ve seen 🙂

  • Rich20Something

    Rachael Cook  what’s the number 1 habit you’d like to install?

  • Rich20Something

    Jezi Excellent, Jezi. Thanks!

  • Rich20Something

    Deborah Fillman Thanks for the comment, and the email, Deborah

  • Rich20Something

    @Julius Thanks Julius. I appreciate the kind words!

  • Rich20Something

    Miss Modifier Excellent!!

  • Jamal Haija

    Awesome article, Daniel! I laughed through most of it, because I can relate to so much of it — and ’cause you’re hilarious. It’s wonderful to be able to read everyone’s comments as well and be inspired at a perfect time in my life, having recently decided to work for myself. Looking forward to exploring and reading more.

  • Rich20Something

    @goska Interesting observation. Can you think of a time in your life when that was true?

  • Rich20Something

    Jamal Haija Very cool, Jamal. What type of business are you starting?

  • Sirius Bass

    Rich20Something SiriusBass   You’re right. Lists become bottomless. For me, they started working when I would prioritize and keep them minimal.  The habit I installed (thanks to the Seinfeld Solution) was working on my website on a daily basis. At first, it didn’t look like much was done. However, writing content on a daily basis built up nicely and faster than I would’ve expected.

  • Jamal Haija

    Rich20Something Thanks! I’ve been running a one-man web development shop since September. It’s been challenging and a great learning experience.

    Thanks for your email too.

  • adam5

    Excellent article Daniel. I had heard of the Seinfeld solution but never knew what it was. You have a new reader for sure in me!

  • Lizzy17

    I love the way you write – you keep it
    real! I’m going to start by exercising first thing in the morning.
    Generally speaking, working out makes me more productive but I don’t always get
    around to it because other shit comes up. Lets see how many days I can go
    without breaking the chain, then I’ll start integrating work habits to mix. Thanks for putting everything into prospective!

  • Najma

    Thank you for sharing this worthwhile article. For the past 4 years, I have been downtrodde, failed to finish law school and gave up on life. I now want take control of my life. Your article has hit the nail on the head : success is a habit 🙂

    Najma Khan : Kenya

  • Shannon Eary

    Thanks for the inspiration. I am gonna try not to break the chain. I am trying to start my own freelance graphic design business and I am so overwhelmed trying to find a way to get moving. Hoping this method will help me take it one day at a time to make progress. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

  • abijah

    I enjoyed reading every bit of this article. I procastinate a lot and I could totally relate to you. I’m planning to continue learning web design this year and do it on a daily basis. 

    Thanks for the tips and insightful post.

  • Jamie59901

    Thanks daniel. I am going to complete one tutorial in my creative field per day (or chapter, if its a big class).

  • ManaP

    Thank you! I have faced the exact same problem in not being able to follow through on my plans, so much so that it has become a sort of running joke in my family. But what I’ve come to learn over time, something that your article reiterates is the fact that showing up, everyday, is what counts. Not how well you do whatever that is you’re doing or for how long but the simple fact that you did it.

  • Bridget

    Great article Daniel. I’ve read something similar before in a book called The Slight Edge and it really resonated with me. This was the perfect reminder of what i need to do. Day one of my chain starts today!

  • Shajee

    Awesome article Daniel ! Thanks for sharing I know now after all the goof-ups I have done, I am not alone.

  • Julio

    Oh boy, thanks again for showing it up

  • Using a chain and reducing how many habits to install at any one time seems pretty concrete advice.

    I’ve read about how habits are based upon Cue, Routine and Reward and how it’s possible for folks to instantly install a habit (routine) if the reward far surpasses whatever their current reward is.
    ~
    An example is commuting to work each day by car and being stuck in slow moving traffic for over an hour – each and every day.
    You always take the same route, turn at the same corners, get delayed at the same intersections.
    After years upon years of taking the same route you nolonger remember the trip – you “wake up” when you arrive at your destination.
    Until one day you hear about an alternative route.
    If you turned left at one particular intersection, go up three blocks, turn right and go ten blocks you will cut your commute by forty minutes.
    The next day, as you approach the intersection you remember the alternative route, take a left and the habit is instantly formed.
    You never again stay on the main route – you’ve added a new Cue, adjusted the Routine and attained a Reward.
    ~
    This Seinfeld Solution appears to accept that the Reward will come with time and so you concentrate your energy on the two areas you have immediate control over: When/Where to place a Cue and What Routine to carry out (and How to carry that Routine out).

    Good to see a method I can use to become more proficient and productive in my work and lifestyle.

  • Tim

    Great article Daniel, used this idea in a few areas of my life but ready to push it a bit further.

  • genesisladominicanausa

    Thanks for led us know about this without any cost.

  • It’s funny when you talk about Jerry writing jokes everyday because that is what I do with photography. I take photos every day so that photography becomes a part of my identity. My partner thinks I’m strange because I just take a photo of a glass of wine, or a perfume bottle. However, if you always take photos, you will eventually get some really freaking awesome ones, and that feels great. Also, your ability to consistently produce good ones increases substantially.

  • wilblz

    Being consistent is key to being successful at anything… just keep doing it and it’ll happen. That’s something I’ve certainly learned in the business world. 

    great read!

  • Good Stuff!

  • Rich20Something

    Brian Mogambi  Thanks man. Have you implemented this yet?

  • Rich20Something

    wilblz  Consistency is huge – but also consistency at the RIGHT thing, you know?

  • Rich20Something

    James Poulitot  For sure- but creativity is such an uphill battle at times. What do you do to get yourself to create when you don’t feel like it?

  • Rich20Something

    genesisladominicanausa  You’re welcome!

  • Rich20Something

    @Tim  Awesome, Tim. Good luck!

  • Rich20Something

    @Bridget  Excellent! Would you mind posting that link to “Slight Edge” in here so people can see? 🙂

  • Rich20Something

    Jamie59901  Awesome, J. Did you finish it?

  • Rich20Something

    @abijah  How’s the web design going? I’m checking up on you!

  • Rich20Something

    Shajee  Definitely not

  • Rich20Something

    @Julio  Haha, you’re welcome 🙂

  • NaraLinard

    I guess I knew that “not breaking the chain” was key, but the way you put it really made me get it! Great blog! I’m excited to keep up with it. 🙂

  • Rich20Something

    NaraLinard  You made it here! Welcome! Welcome!

  • ShaneLarson

    Dude!  thanks!  Lovin your style!

  • ShaneLarson

    Also, thanks for this article!  I decided to open up a job on Elance to see what kind of proposals you get. I received 20+ proposals within one hour.  Over 80% were canned responses.  I doubt the freelancer had even looked at the proposal.  They probably just have an API interface with Elance’s back-end api that allows them to bulk propose.
    Also, I sent a lot of questions to some of the freelancers who replied to by job.  Most of them didn’t reply to my questions at all!  I was able to narrow it down to one freelancer pretty quickly.
    Also, I noticed that even some of the offshore coders were asking way too much money for what the project was worth,   I am no longer afraid to just ask for the rate that I want when I bid on Elance.
    Thanks for the awesome article.

  • I am definitely guilty of making goals in my head and even writing them down sometimes and expecting that willpower will just somehow magically step in and i’ll reach them. I just started in real estate last year and have been debating quitting for the last couple of months.. I think I can implement the Seinfeld Solution to help me.

  • OliviaMatsch

    I am definitely guilty of making goals in my head and even writing them down sometimes and expecting that willpower will just somehow magically step in and i’ll reach them. I just started in real estate last year and have been debating quitting for the last couple of months.. I think I can implement the Seinfeld Solution to help me.

  • Denitsa

    I love this! It’s one of those things that are so simple, they somehow click in your head and you intuitively know it’ll work… I’m starting this today!

  • BeMaJ

    I’m a fantastic chain maker until about week two.

  • Viktor Jiracek

    killed this post, Daniel.. keep it up

  • Zack

    This is how I got serious about going to the gym regularly.  I went from barely getting a run in once a week to doing some form of cardio/weight training every day (maybe a rest day once a week, but you get the gist of it).  The results have been life-changing, and the best part is, it’s just part of my routine now!  Thanks for writing this post, I hadn’t even thought to apply this principle elsewhere in my life, but I’m absolutely going to do it now!

  • MajorT0M

    This goes right to the heart of the idea that it takes10,000 hours to fully master a field of study. The hard part is having the discipline to put in the hours. Making it a habit (and knowing how to make it a habit) are key. Thanks, Daniel.

  • All I have to say is this shit works. Even if you do break the chain, as long as you have way more red Xs than not, you’re winning. Show up and do the work. Every day. Greatness follows.

  • ChristyCakes

    This makes a lot of sense. I think everyone starts here. Everyone who has the potential to make it. The web is so big, it’s its own shiny object of endless opportunity! Not everyone will catch a wave, though. This is good stuff! I love your style! Hits home, great post! 😉

  • JaydeGilmore

    Thanks for the tip about Lift, I’ll look into it. Having that visual chain sounds like an awesome prompt. I also like keeping numbers on a white board – every time I do it, the number goes up. Every time I skip, I erase the numbers and start over from 1 the next time.

  • IndrekStern

    A habit that I should really start video documenting is expanding my skull and increasing pressurization of all internal cavities for better posture, power output and to look good naked.

  • First of all, the Learn to dance in a year vid was fantastic. That is really a great anchor for the lesson of this post which has to do with the power of habit.

    About a year ago I started tracking my daily habits in an excel sheet. I gave myself a 1 if I did the habit or a 0 if I failed to do it. Doing it this way helped me take willpower out of the equation. It was already on the list, so I just had to do it. I was able to free my mind and start working on other long term projects. 

    A strange thing happened after a while…. I was able to get even more done in a day and I was able to add other habits to the list. The actions that once seemed impossible, were now just part of an average day. 

    I’m currently up 23 daily habits, some of which include writing, reading, exercise, eating right, meditation etc.  The more I continue to push myself and get shit done, the more energy I have to focus on the things that are really going to help me long term.

  • great article Daniel… stumbling across this in the midst of a business startup is great motivation to keep me on track to achieving my goals… not that I exactly know what they are yet haha I just woke up with the urge to actually do something with my life I would be excited and proud to talk about with people. It has been pushing me daily since and I dont want to lose my momentum! My mind often paralyses me from action because of the infinite possibilities I consider… not breaking the chain is a great concept one I will strive to do even with the little things. I think the real mark of success for me will be defining the right things to do every day. Thank you for sharing your advice! I need to go away and think about some meaningful and relevant tasks to start my habits 🙂

  • jaffac

    Awesome post Daniel. I know I can do stuff but am largely lazy and undisciplined. I love this idea because my alter OCD ego, will simply not tolerate a break in the chain! Watch this space!

  • Rich20Something

    jaffac  Excellent! What’s your alter OCD ego’s name?

    You should let him take over for a bit 🙂

  • jbvictorino1

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. This will help me to not procrastinate with my sales pitches. Or exercising. 🙂

  • TB3andJoe

    So if you know that, your challenge is half over. The key to changing a habit is to identify it. Once you understand what needs to change then that becomes the focus. Your challenge is to Make it past week three!

  • Arckine

    I love this. thank you very much. This is going to help immensely for me on getting things going and becoming regularly productive.

  • OLIDURR

    First read on your site and I’m looking forward to reading more..

  • SJekabs

    Great post! Being a bit lazy and undisciplined was something i came aware of lately and I’m definitely in to try!! Got to be exciting!

  • siri

    Great post. Having a home office means I tend to slack off on responsibilities aroudn the house. Im de ffinately going to use this and things cracking around here.

  • Sam

    Great read !!! Time to get a move on and start taking action! Thank you

  • Vitanus

    Wow! This is just an incredible write up….. Daniel, you just expose the whole naked truth in this post. One challenge I have been battling if finance to do things am suppose to get done and thus it’s making me lazy now.
    From Nigeria

  • andre16

    Consistency is key.. hard work beats talent when talent doesnt work hard

  • Keep working….everyday. Even if it’s a small amount just do SOMETHING.
    What you’ve written makes so much sense but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen it explained in such a way.
    Thanks.

  • Dale1954

    Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch???

  • Kalina

    Thank you for a very insightful article Daniel! I’m currently working on a project with my partner and I’m having trouble with reporting my progress regularly. I know that it is crucial that I inform my partner about what the progress on my side so that we could decide on the next steps together, I just seem to forget to do this on a regular basis. Your article encouraged me to be more consistent in everything that influences the development of my business.
    However, while reading, I couldn’t stop thinking that maybe sometimes breaking the chain can actually help… I’m explaining: when I started to learn programming last year , there were moments that it was too difficult, I was frustrated and I just HAD TO take a day or two off and do something else. And actually it worked! After a day or two I got back to work with new energy, clear mind and a fresh take on things! So… I agree that we need to be consistent and we need to work regularly, but maybe sometimes we should break the chain if we feel the need to do so. What we need afterwards is simply enough motivation and willpower to get back on track after a break. What do you think?

  • Benita

    Daniel, thanks for providing a strategy for turning my laziness into productivity. I’m currently trying to come up with a business idea and learn web design (which has turned out to be a bit harder than I thought).  But after I get home from work and tutoring or working out, I find it so hard to get motivated to do anything else.  I’ll give the Seinfeld solution a try and let you know how it works.  
    Looking forward to reading your other articles!

  • Wanda

    Thanks for sharing! The video of the young lady learning to dance was very helpful.  It gave me hope even though I am not 20 something! 🙂

  • Bill F

    Hi Daniel,

    Right on…I have been investing too much time making a living and helping other people get wealthy. I have found, just like you state, that “showing up” is 90% of the process. I just have not been using the chain to build my own wealth. I make a very fine income but it takes so much time that I do not have the energy to build a chain that works for me. I look forward to being a tribe member.

    Bill F.

  • Ask

    Thank you, this really got me thinking. Next step, actually do this!

  • My  research indicates that it is not just that Seinfeld did write everyday its that the more ideas you have more you have ..

    I call this Parallel leverage  ..The brain works by association ….It is stimulated by original ideas & by emotion .Most so called genius’s were very eclectic  Leonardo is one of the finest examples think of all the ideas he had quite a few unfinished !
    Einstein worked ina patent office for some years . His wife did the Math  he did the imagining  ..

    Your right Daniel dont break the chain ..You can extend your reach by delegating but thats another story !

      Thank  you              Ian

  • kaustin52094

    Very inspirational, I guess now I just have to stop procrastinating and actually do the things that I tell myself I want to do.

  • skywalk436

    I already started doing this with meditation, writing, and programming, but I have started to break the chain sometimes. This was the kick I needed to get back into it.

  • alexwbrokesmith

    The article was interesting but the email that led me here was embarrassing. We don’t care if you consider yourself sexy etc. I’ll be coming back to read more articles

  • Rich20Something

    alexwbrokesmith haha, well thanks for coming back ^^

  • Ediri Obor

    This is all Darren Hardy’s “The Compound Effect” is all about! I liked your article though, pretty easy to read through and it had a relaxed tone

  • CBlaze

    I just finished reading ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg. Great book that explains in great detail why and how this works. Though I am a fan of the details, it’s refreshing to hear them boiled down to something as simple as “Don’t break the chain.” The less you have to think about it, the more likely you will be to do it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathydep

    Great article! I heard of this before but never really tried it. Now I’m going to put this to the test. Thank you.

  • PBrown

    This is such a wonderful read! Thank you so much for all of your insight! I’m a very disciplined person, but I’ve recently caught myself making up excuses if something didn’t get done; only to feel really bad about it later. Simple things like getting up as early as you can to maximize your day and working out would all get pushed to the back burner. I plan to keep the chain going and be consistent over time so I’ll form habits that seem like second nature to me, regardless of what’s going on in life.

  • Cijo Paul

    This is great. I’ve made a habit out of chewing my food 32 times before I swallow that helped me eat exactly how much I wanted to eat. I became conscious about what I was putting in my body. And now thanks to you I’m planning to link it to other areas of my life. Thanks!

  • Cijo Paul

    This is great. I’ve made a habit out of chewing my food 32 times before I swallow that helped me eat exactly how much I wanted to eat. I became conscious about what I was putting in my body. And now thanks to you I’m planning to link it to other areas of my life. Thanks Dan 🙂

  • Kevin

    Great post. I know apps can be just one more thing to do, but I use Lift (similar concept to a wall calendar) and Simpleology (a little more comprehensive) to transform activities into habits that force behavioral change. Good luck to everyone looking to accomplish great things!

  • andogram23

    Well thought out article. Persistence is very valuable trait. Find mentors, coaches, and systems of support to accelerate your learning.

  • Great information, I will start tomorrow and won’t break the chain. Thanks!

  • Jamelle

    Amazing information. Consistency is vital!

  • phillipguy

    Daniel this is gold! I’ve done something similar from Jerry’s advice I found on reddit and it helps. I like to see your count if days though on how long it took before you stopped tracking. Obviously some habits are harder to form than others.
    Although I use lift for a couple of habits, I think I want to use a wall calendar for my primary habit.
    Thanks D!

  • arunabhacharya

    Great Post..By repetition we develop patterns in our sub-conscious mind and then it becomes our primary habit.

  • Nice read on developing good habits.  We ought to make this mandatory reading for high school students!

  • Dalingcebo

    Daniel, yes I know this really works. I have done it, before mostly in my exercise routine and I can do it now. The other real issue about me is I love the US entrepreneurship spirit. But I do not have a real experience for it. If you try to connect to it, before you can do it you have to buy something. 
    Buying I have done many,many times and it was all good but never produce even a dollar for me. Really I don’t blame anyone except maybe the fact that my first encounter with a computer was way after my university years.
    Now I know what is real and what is not, as far as online business is concerned, I am ready and eager to do it for real now, but I am not too sure on some product I can sell in this part of the world. My country is very open to new ways of doing business but sceptical at the same time. That I can sell anywhere in the world, I accept that but I should begin at home, right?
    But the fact that I do not have the actual person by my side who is Real and has actually done it, has been a biggest challenge so far. But thanks God that I have the “sexy” Daniel by my side. And the chain I will definately connect again. Let’s do this Daniel, I trust you 100%.

  • Ray

    Thanks Daniel. It all hits home. I’m going to make my list, get out the calendar and get going. Tired of sitting on the sidelines and making excuses. Inspirational post and video.

  • I’m gonna try the solution, great blog, will share on my fb page.

  • Andrei

    Hey Daniel. Great write up of the Sienfeld method! Love it how you break it down and show how it worked for you.

    I worked well for me for getting up early to work out (with a combination of a reward following the trigger-action-reward as described in The Power of Habit). Ironically, I was so impressed how well it worked that I haven’t really thought about applying it to other habits that I’d like to develop. So thanks for the refresher!

    I think the next couple of things on my list are freelancing (e.g. apply to one project / day on Elance) and Excel / VBA programming.

    Thanks again for the awesome post! Keep ’em coming!

  • sh1nt4r0

    good point

  • sh1nt4r0

    good point

  • Jesus R

    Often times I feel stresses when I time the activities that I am going to do for example learn basic programming for 45 minutes. Instead of timing I can see how less stressful it would be by simply making it the goal to do the activity.This is good information and thank you for sharing it with us.

  • r3t3p3d

    Great point, For the moment, I’ve just had a piece of paper next to my desk with small squares on it, so breaking the chain hasn’t taken THAT much attention in my mind.
    Seeing as I HAVE a calendar, I should probably get started chaining on it !

    Good post ! (I’ve been trying it in the context of 30Day Trials, didn’t know people used them for entire years ! But i guess it’s pretty intelligent, when you think about it !)

  • Dreamsalive

    Great article, I can very much relate. I’m sometimes always thinking of what I need & want to get done & stressing out over planning how to do it! But I’m learning how to to just do it, & then your happy you accomplished your goals for the day. So instead of worrying simply put in action & your results will follow.
    Look forward to more great articles!! : ))

  • ykh

    1. Run
    2. Push up

  • JeffAmend

    Very awesome read. I’m excited at figuring out what it is I need to be more productive on and start building my chain. Thoughts so far…
    1. Pushups
    2. Making successful friends
    3. Learn how to use Quickbooks

  • thomas4dima

    Fantastic and captivating. 

    I probably need a big calendar for my self and start soon.

  • SemajRichardson

    I really enjoyed reading this article Daniel. Your writing style is pretty awesome. I like the simplicity of the story and how easily applicable it is to life. Currently for me two big things that I am focusing on are building my network and social circle, and further developing my fluency in Spanish, so these are the areas in which I will push myself to see how long I can go without breaking the chain

  • Jinx Popo

    Im really impressed with your practical analysis of connecting “habits” and “goals”. It makes alot of sense, we see this all around successful people around us but it is so hard to learn. I definitely like “programming advice”.

  • Nicole

    I loved your article… very insightful!

  • Trevor

    Solid life advice. I’ll try out Lift. Thanks for writing it!

  • Gauravshrivastava

    great suggestion, worth inculcating in life without any further delay

  • Stephane Jozil

    Hello Daniel! I just read your post and I was very amazed to find how similar it is for me when it comes to productivity , having willpower and accomplish new goals I fixed all the time. To be completely honest I was releived to discover I was not the only one. The post opens my eyes on a lot of behaviours that I have and give me a lot of insights to break the bad habits… Having said that , tomorrow the first thing I’m gonna do is to find a calendar and a marker , I’m gonna start very simply with reading every day , do my bed and go to the gym. I’ll write you to tell you how I’m doing. Again thanks a lot ! Stephane from Haiti.

  • JB

    Great overview of many of the reasons I struggle with productivity. I love the idea about limiting your to do list from his other article. I’m going to try out the app Lift. As a kid I loved to put stickers on a chart after I had done something and watch them add up. I think this will help me develop a solid foundation with the goals I have chosen. Thanks!!

  • Luke F

    Love that your content is not just “feel good” but ACTIONABLE! I am implementing these strategies ASAP. Thanks for helping me get to the next level Daniel!

  • ChelsieA

    This is actually a really interesting article that requires action and motivation to achieve a goal. I think that it would be easier if the goal was something you loved or you had pictures that you saw everyday that reminds you what the end result could be.
    For example I would like to walk the length of the Great Wall of China in 2 years so to form the habit I will walk every day. But to motivate myself because I hate walking I have a picture on my wall of the great Wall.

  • Ray Oixio

    Great article!

  • AliciaTGlenn

    This is perfect!

  • KatelynEHart

    Awesome!

  • Gilliansolution

    I love this Seinfeld Solution. I printed out my calendar. Now I just need to find a red pen. I am returning to my work of freelance writing after 15 years doing market research. Writing everyday is what I need to do. Procrastination is my enemy. Thank you rich20something. I’ll let you know how it works.

  • Waseem

    That’s a really not-so-nice but a very useful way to put what you just said above.
    I am developing a habit of writing a journal daily 3+ days…

  • Dear Daniel, thank you for imparting your process and wisdom on the readers. I’ve made several positive changes in my life in just this fashion. It works!

  • Georgina O

    Wow… this resonates deeply.

  • Stacieas

    Nice article! Lift looks like a compelling productivity app! I’m also a fan of GQueues, it works really well with David Allens “Getting Things Done” concepts. For me? “Projectizing” things. It’s much easier to get things done if you write out all the steps to do them, otherwise multi-step tasks feel too daunting and I procrastinate. Thanks for the article, looking forward to hearing more!

  • Julie Kimber

    Amazing.  So simple – it’s almost embarrassing.  I printed 5 of the calendars.  I’m going to do little bits each day in 5 areas of self-improvement.  When I look at the enormity of what needs to be accomplished, I freeze and do NOTHING!  This is a great idea for us “all or nothing” people – learning to make progress in steps measured only by the consistency of our effort.  Love it.  I will keep you posted on my “chains”.

    You’re really on to something here too.  So glad I found you on Under30CEO.  I am a devoted tribe member.

  • MickaParungao

    it’s a nice article! I really want to write damn good and interesting books but haven’t done a single step for it hmm why? my grammar is bad and every paragraph i make words keep on repeating, yes my vocabulary sucks and i hate it so i will start by reading anything about english grammar and stories 2 hours each day followed by writing a page about anything. Don’t break the chain it is! 🙂

  • madhoor

    the art of being successful nd systematic wud b to train /programme/ talk to our subconcious mind the  nite before retiring for the day that these jobs hav to b done the next day it becomes easier nd v dont forget that easily

  • Rita

    I won’t break the chain…on me!

  • LauraVatavu

    One of the most useful blogs I have recently read ! Thank you!

  • danstrayer1956

    From Calvin Coolidge, of all people…..“http://thinkexist.com/quotation/nothing_in_this_world_can_take_the_place_of/201002.html”

  • Shebalee

    Loved the article…it has encouraged me to take on a few tasks that i have put off consistency…now with new vigor… thank you!

  • Alexandra

    I really love this.  This is such a tangible example of what people can do, every day, and the results that can be achieved.  I’m inspired to start my chain and reach New Heights too.
    Thank you for writing this!  I’m delighted to connect with this insight, and the tribe at large.

  • Motivational article, I won’t break my chain, I am a programmer I will make an app to track my chain

  • Liv

    Now you got me and I have to do the things. But thank you. <3

  • esteroberto

    Try to kick my ass, I double-dare you!

  • SaleemRana

    Awe and shock. What a brilliant idea. I did not expect it. I thought it would be another lame list of 7 things that you should be doing.

  • IgorLobato

    Thanks man! Calendar download and goals set.

  • TreyForbes

    This is a great article, immediately I knew my main goal would be to get fit. Its all I kept thinking of through the whole article. Thanks!

  • CarissaAndrews

    What a great post! Seems so simple! I’ve been doing something similar, keeping a journal entry every day of my accomplishments. But I like the visual idea of the red x. Thanks so much for the tips!

  • NewJetLife

    Thanks Rich – was going through something – learned about you via the Business Insider story and I said wouldn’t hurt to earned that amount in 4 weeks and do it consistently. 

    However, I was like let me see and try but first I like your style. 

    Thanks you and I look forward to getting back to you with any questions or most importantly my results.

  • AndreaContardi

    I’ll give a try.
    See you 365 days from now

  • HardusPretorius

    Dude this is AWESOME!! This is going out to my team. I can think of like 10 habits I need to implement!  Also a few I need to let go of… Thanks man!

  • marek

    THANK YOU FOR THAT.  364 days to go 🙂

  • MOnd

    great article, thank you

  • Anschi

    Your writing is so interesting and funny, and you’re saying what I need and want to hear. Thank you, my habits are already set up in coach me 🙂

  • AlversonLayne

    Thanks!

  • bethanyrscott

    I’m working on a version of the Seinfeld calendar to put above my computer. It’ll schedule in a daily target for 1,000 words for a ‘major project’ (the novel or script I’m working on), monthly short stories to send to publications, monthly letters for magazines, and weekly blog posts and microfiction. You know what they say about aiming for the sky…!

  • Melissa Lopez

    Getting the calendar challenge done!! I doing more research evyday!!

  • taerae

    must have known I needed That.. it is so boring to me following a calendar.

  • RitwikMishra

    great blog man…i can relate to it…..currently learning programming…never liked it but needed to learn….on a 15 day streak…hope the chain continues……..

  • Anna

    They say it takes at least 30 days to form a new habit so am gonna start right now!
    Thanks for all the cool advice!
    😀

  • venoo

    Great Tips Bro….really gonna focus on these ….

  • LADYBEA80

    For this classic procrastinator who also has a endless list of projects that she never finishes- this is great! In need of desperate reprogramming, hopefully this wI’ll help.TY

  • Ana

    Interesting article and makes totally sense, I just need to think what will be my list of new habits I would like to have to put all this into work.
    Thanks and exciting to see what else you have in store in the next 7 days.

  • Harold

    Interesting article, your metaphors usually have me rolling. I have a few new daily routines if like to start adding already.

  • JulianaB7

    Consistency is key and repetition of good habits always leads to good results. Thank God I am not on social media anymore this way I can only focus on building and planning the rest of my life. Nice read Daniel, exactly what I needed at this particular time of my life.

  • EssiMerveilleSegbeaya

    Totally right, I am doing that for sure

  • SDanzger

    Great, motivating article.  I am a productivity consultant and read that it takes 21 days to create a habit in many different sources.  So I decided I should test it out.  About 8 or 9 years ago I used the “don’t break the chain” theory to get through the 21 days.  So far I have done this with:  flossing, a plank each day, pilates 100s each day, a shoulder exercise each day, and meditation each day.  As you said, some of the days aren’t my best but I never skip a day.  It has become part of my muscle memory.  I look forward to reading your material and love your sense of humor!

  • Ronnie

    Right on Daniel! it’s very close to heart examples that we can all related to our daily lives. I am trying to make it a habit of writing 1 page of reflection every day.

  • CinthiaRios1

    Really enjoyed reading your article! Consistency is key and thank you for emphasizing that. 
    I am learning more about you and your mind blowing techniques and strategies. Excited to continue learning more from you starting tomorrow!

    Special shout out from Sacramento to you!

  • spencerlewis88

    Good habits are hard to build, but they’re even harder to break. This is some solid advice but what I like most is that you actually practice what you preach! I wonder if the opposite applies and that it takes around 60 days of NOT doing something to break a bad habit. I guess in some ways you could think of it as creating a new habit to break your old one. I might have to test this out…

    Great post, Daniel, thank you for sharing.

  • Love this! i just finished listening to the audio book The Now Habit and it talks about Seinfeld’s method and the idea of ‘just doing one thing now’. Our bodies are programmed to pick up habits– this is exactly that!

  • Celeste

    I have heard this before but this is a clear indication  of an amazing reminder. At times I forget it is the consistency of little things that can build me. Thank you for posting this awesome article!

  • Bede Jayalath

    V good. Resonated the importance of ‘habits’ I have already known but failed to practice. I am motivated use this even in little doses

  • Ana

    I love Seinfeld, but I would have never in a million years thought he could be the key to learning how to be more productive (he and everyone else on the show seemed to be the very opposite of it!). Thank you for a great article and congratulations on very effective methods of grabbing a person’s attention, I’m impressed 🙂

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